ISLAMABAD, April 15, 2019: “The way the finance minister ran off to Washington without taking the parliament on board raises important questions and it is our right to ask them. Firstly, what conditions had he agreed to sign the deal on? Secondly, what other concessions was he willing to offer, because apparently their terms are already being implemented? It appears the visit was all about showing the lenders the government’s good performance,” said PPP Parliamentary Leader, Senator Sherry Rehman while taking to the media at her chamber, today.
She said, “The government could not even manage to secure a meeting with the US Secretary Treasury over there, one wonders if they had done their homework prior to the visit. Moreover, they were forced out of the US-Taliban Doha talks. We want to know on what trajectory is their relationship with the US and the IMF?”
Speaking on the imminence of the annual budget, Rehman said, “The fact that the annual budget is right around the corner and the Finance Committee meetings are not happening even though it is April, is unprecedented”. She said that there were many questions that needed answering such as the terms of the agreement with IMF, “Is it going to be a stabilization programme? Where would the dollar settle? Where do they want to take the taxation? Are the terms going to be made more stringent than they already are? These are all pertinent questions but they are not being answered. How then is the government going to run the country? Is the government’s budget going to be based on the amnesty scheme only?”
“Two notified sessions of the national assembly and senate, saw a last minute postponement which never happens. We have strong reservations about it. The government did this to pass the tax whitening amnesty scheme because it knows it lacks strength in the parliament,” Rehman said.
Reacting to the government saying it would teach the opposition a lesson, she said “They want to teach the opposition a lesson but they will see how the people will treat them for squeezing them and not delivering on their promises. The only two tabdeelis this government has gifted to the nation are; a poor performing economy and use of profanities. They are only busy in sidelining the parliament and hijacking all the institutions”.
“They are repeatedly trying to pin the blame of their dysfunctional governance on the system but we will not let any ulterior motives of this government materialize. Are they not aware of Pakistan’s history? About how many times it has had the presidential system and how it fared? Do they not remember 1971?” she asked.
“Opposition’s joint meetings will be held and we will discuss a mutual course of action. The government has already introduced multiple budgets and yet it has no economic policy or way forward. We will certainly raise questions especially as to what their real purpose is,” Rehman concluded.